There's A Racial Gap In Retirement

There are many ways that African Americans are still disadvantaged in our country, but few of them are as glaring as the disparity we see in retirement savings.

According to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute, white workers have almost five times as much wealth in retirement accounts as black workers. And, that disparity has grown substantially since 1980. That's when many Americans lost the protection of an employer-based defined-benefit retirement plan in exchange for a self-funded, risky 401(k).

Thanks to hiring discrimination and other wage disparities, in 1989, white families already averaged about $35,000 more in retirement savings than black families. With the switch to 401(k) retirement accounts, that difference had grown to almost $100,000 by 2013.

And, the percentage of African Americans who even get the chance to contribute to a retirement account is actually declining. In 1983, 52% of black Americans had an employer-based pension plan, but by 2014, only 47% of black workers have a retirement plan of any kind at work.

No American should be forced into poverty just to retire, and it's time close the racial gap in retirement plans.


Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 14 weeks ago

Yeah, call Hillary & Bill - they will fix that. Jesus, how can any self-respecting African American be so gullible to believe that.

Max Keiser: I am blacker than Bill Clinton!:

Why Do African-Americans Support The Clintons? The Young Turks:

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote. From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decimated black America. By Michelle Alexander:

The Glenn Beck Review's picture
The Glenn Beck ... 7 years 14 weeks ago

Revolt Against Plutocracy volunteers are posting ads across SC media telling Democrats it's going to be Bernie or bust. Tomorrow, we find out how many black Americans saw the ads.

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 7 years 14 weeks ago

Employer retirement plans ? For some time now American workers have been told that a new labor paradigm is evolving and they will likely have a number of jobs working for different companies throughout their working years. The day of a lifetime career with one company has been evaporating for the last half century. Social Security remains the only true transferrable retirement plan for American Workers, a system that even Politically Right leaning American workers understand is the only hope for their senior years. Social Security does require that the future retiree build and maintain a personal financial base over the years, a fact that the SSA does not emphasize adequately and a goal that is becoming increasingly more difficult to achieve given the rapid rise of low end minimum wage service sector jobs that are rapidly taking the place of former living wage jobs that have increasingly been exported to foreign low wage economies ! A growing set of challenges for future retirees and any centralized government retirement program !

Kerry McCune's picture
Kerry McCune 7 years 14 weeks ago

Being a white working class heterosexual male over 55, and considering my current retirement plan consists of either a massive heart attack at age 65 or a prison sentence to provide adequate food, shelter, and health care, I am having a hard time relating to the statistical racial inequality.

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 14 weeks ago

Also alarming is about 70 % of all pension funds are under funded. Chances are even if you have a pension you are not going to receive what you think or the one you are getting now will be reduced. Not even government pensions are save. Look at Detroit. With states racking up debt at a unprecedented rate it won't be long interest rates go up the not just cities but whole states will be going bankrupt. If you have a pension plan I suggest you get more involved and see where it's invested and how well it's managed. The bank scandal is nothing compared to what's coming with the pension funds.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 14 weeks ago

No, public pension funds in the US are underfunded by $1T, Bank Bailouts have reached $16T, as well as trashing the world economy by $200T.

City, state & federal governments are too eager to give away big fat public pensions, that are very rare in the private sector, and leave them for future administrations to pay for. A national pension plan, everyone contributes to is far superior to private pension plans that are usually just a rip-off. Private sector employees can no longer expect to work long enough at a company to get a pension so those plans are just a sick joke.

Beyond the basic national plan, people can contribute to their own RRSP or 401K, and that is all that should exist for pension plans.

Other than that a basic income will be needed, which can easily be funded by public money creation. As automation replaces human workers it is common sense to create money - that is medium of exchange - to facilitate the distribution of goods to the population. And widespread taxation to prevent the excessive accumulation of wealth in the hands of the politically connected elites.

This is all very simple-minded and easy to implement except for the age-old problem of corruption. Our political systems have so badly compromised by vested interests that common sense solutions are invariably buried.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 7 years 14 weeks ago

We already have the perfect retirement plan in place. If only our "Public Servants" would leave it alone. They rob from it to balance their budgets and then condemn it for being a burden. Well, it is a burden for them because they're suppose to pay it back. Whenever you help anyone in need, it's a burden. One we take on because it's right. There's big money in Social Security and many, other than the entitled, have their eye on it. They want to fix it by handing out 50 cents on the dollar. Thanks for that! I'm in your debt, or rather, just in debt. Glad I could help you with your budget.

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